I’ve always said to myself that Vienna was the least I should reach on my trip. Don’t ask me why Vienna, but probably because of what I wrote last time. I have reached Vienna and have had great company over there. This made me realise that there is still something in Holland which I would, or could, call home. I didn’t burn all the bridges when I left, and people are expecting me to come back some day. Here are some thoughts about the continuation of my trip and the question whether to walk or not.
When I set out, I made three simple rules for myself:
1. Every kilometre towards Istanbul has to be on foot. (In towns I could take trains and busses. Going back a bit by car is also okay.)
2. Never turn down anything that is offered. (This is with exception of rides in the direction of Istanbul or harmful stuff like drugs.)
3. Pick the most beautiful way over the shortest one. (Of course, there has to be some logic in walking the most beautiful way.)
I have broken the last rule when I decided to walk along the Danube in Austria, instead of following the more beautiful route of the E8 along the Czech border. I felt I had good reasons for doing so; money and time. Today I had a view of some mountains to my right. When I will encounter mountains (mainly in Bulgaria) on the Sultans Trail I’m currently walking, it will be to deep in winter to walk them. I’ve to walk around them by going to Bucharest. And I have experienced what the change in season does to my trip as the road I walked was flooded. Even worse then when I wrote Roads turned rivers a while ago. I tried going through the water barefoot, but it came above my knees. I decided to turn around, the current was too strong to try with less clothes on. This meant I was in town too late to find an open store, tomorrow is Sunday and I have to trust the dear lord above that food will be provided.
Another issue is money. I do not know if I have enough to make it to Istanbul. I know I can do without it. Klemens showed me that, as a couple of other people along the way. But begging for food and shelter in the poorest countries of my trip while spending it in the richest, feels wrong to me.
But, the adventure will be over. I will not be one of the few souls alive who walked this kind of distance at once (I will walk to Istanbul, no doubt). I will not be one who did something really inspiring. I will just be someone who likes walking a lot.
Please don’t get me wrong. However bad the weather was today, and however bad it will be tomorrow, however much my feet hurt and however much slugs I’ve removed from my tent in the morning, I still enjoyed walking today and am looking forward to tomorrow. I now feel the freedom to both walk and go home. So, expect me home anytime, but don’t wait on me.